Phil's Quick Capsule Review
the-last-duel-poster-2021

The Last Duel (2021): Review by Grosse Point Geek

Plot in a nutshell: Set in 13th Century medieval France, told from three different perspectives, The Last Duel concerns well basically…….. the last legally sanctioned duel in that country’s history.  A seemingly disliked and somewhat egotistical knight (Matt Damon) challenges a rival and more favoured knight (Adam Driver) to a fight to the death after Damon’s wife (Jodie Comer) accuses Driver of rape. Win and he’ll restore his and his wife’s honour, lose and she’ll be burned at the stake.

 

What worked: The four central performances are all very good – especially Ben Affleck who is clearly having a lot of fun as a stinking rich and decidedly effete French lord who gets all the best lines – mostly at the expense of Damon’s character. Jodie Comer is simply brilliant and once again proves that she is one of the most talented and versatile actresses working today. Its well directed by Ridley Scott, the medieval setting is superb, with great attention to period detail plus the climactic duel is well handled, blood thirsty and expertly choreographed.

 

What could have been better: For a start, at two and half hours its simply too bloody long, no film with a plot as simple as this should ever be that length, and by the time the third perspective comes around on what actually happened to Comer one did find ones concentration, interest and tolerance waning somewhat. Also, despite four very good central performances, I did feel that Damon, Affleck and Driver could have done far better accents than the ones we got here which strangely sounded like American mixed with upper class English and this annoyed the hell out of me as all three are very accomplished actors and should have put more effort in.

 

Finally this was a film that frankly didn’t belong in the cinema and really should have been released on tv as a 3 or 4 part mini series or shown on Netflix. These days there’s very little audience appetite for medieval set films and this was painfully obvious in this films dreadful box office performance when it was released a couple of weeks ago in the US, which is a shame as The Last Duel isn’t a bad film at all and is kinda mostly pretty good overall – perhaps given time it will find an audience on streaming sites or when its released internationally.

 

Review summary: Well made, well acted, good combat scenes and great attention to detail, but too long, ponderous, unnecessarily repetitive, and really a rather odd film that whilst being pretty good on the whole just seemed to miss the mark.

 

6 out of 10 stars


 

Grosse Point Geek

The Austin Powers to Phil Hobden's Dr Evil, it's fair to say Will spends his life trying to convince Phil that Paul WS Anderson ISNT a bad filmmaker, that The Hobbit movies really are THAT good and, for the most part, Phil is wrong about most things. Which he is.

Oh and Will doesn't really use social. Ever.